chic or geek

a mildly aspirational blog of my life, times, and taste


apartment aspirations

insideAnna KellerComment

The older I get, the more stuff I accumulate. It's human nature, I suppose, to pile up the books and souvenirs that make me happy, keep on-hand stacks of blankets and pillows to make a Netlix-and-chill session that much more relaxing, and grow my collection of stemless wine glasses (hey, they break eventually!). With each online order of stuff to add to my apartment, I do get a sense of satisfaction that I'm making my home into a fully functioning adult space, but at the same time, I get the nagging sense that I'm moving further and further away from that aspirational minimalist apartment that haunts my dreams and my Pinterest boards.

living room

The warm yet neutral home of Paige Geffen is a space that makes me want to throw 70% of my belongings out on the curb. Her pots and pans all match in the same earthy clay tones, her couch looks perfectly comfortable yet refined, and her mix of metallics, woods, and stone scream sophistication without being too delicate. She could throw a party for all of her closest friends in this space and not worry about anything not surviving - as long as no one spills red wine.

want: Boy Smells Candles

shoppingAnna KellerComment

$29 Boy Smells Candles on

I've been able to control my candle shopping habits by only allowing myself to pick out under-$20 options from T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods. By thoroughly combing through their aisles, I can usually pick out a few soy wax options with the muskier, more masculine notes that I prefer over fruity or florally ones (I've actually had good success with the "Manly Indulgences" line and love to think about the type of bro that would actually pick one of them out for his own pad). 

I'm a sucker for the more Instagram-friendly selections, though, and while I'm not going to start filling my online shopping cart with Byredo or Dyptique candles anytime soon, I am ready to spend a tiny bit more to satisfy this urge to fill my home with millennial pink purchases.

Enter Boy Smells candles. These candles seem like they were designed as click bait for a rosé-loving 28 year old like me. The design is minimal but playful, the names are punny and simple, and their scent profiles are sophisticated but not overly complicated. I'm allowing myself to pick one out as a new summer scent, but now the real hard part is deciding which one to get. 

Inside The Surf Lodge Owner's Home

insideAnna KellerComment

Earlier this summer, I wrote about getting some serious minimalist, surfer-vibe design inspo from The Surf Lodge in Montauk. It's clean, airy design had me itching to go on an extra long weekend trip out there, but without the travel budget to do so. Even though summer is quickly coming to an end, I'm still digging the light colors and beachy feel of Jayma Cordoso's home, owner of Surf Lodge. While certain elements are obviously a little impractical for my little city apartment (a custom glass chess set, for example), but I love the integration of a cement side table in the bedroom, the natural wood sofa table in the living room, and white fabrics throughout. They must not drink a lot of red wine in this space, but if my home looked like this, I'd also be fine sticking to sauvignon blancs and bubbly to save my precious furniture from being destroyed by a stain. The things one will do for a white couch!

SINNERLIG collection at IKEA

insideAnna KellerComment
ikea sinnerlig collection

IKEA makes me giddy in a way that few places do. There's just something about the clean lines, simple but brilliant design, and easy to individualize quality of so many of its items that makes me spend an obscene amount of money every time I visit a store. I would say 80% of my apartment furniture and décor heralds from there, but I don't think my place screams budget-friendly Scandinavian design. Shopping there is all about mixing styles, rethinking how to use certain pieces, and finding items that match your taste and your budget. Plus you can never have too many fake plants in your house, right?

ikea sinnerlig collection

The brand has released information on a new line that I want every piece of: its SINNERLIG collection. Designed by Ilse Crawford, it features natural materials such as cork, ceramics, and glass, and each piece is made with utility and comfort in mind.

I really want to bring home a set of earthenware mugs, a cork bench for the entryway, and plenty of glass bottles to scatter around the kitchen in an artsy way. Plus they'll be great for decanting my $6 wine from Trader Joe's!

So in October, you'll find me driving to the nearest IKEA (which happens to be a very sad 4 hours away) and trying to stuff as many woven baskets into my car as possible.